tv The Last Word MSNBC October 23, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
maybe it was justified this time, maybe not. in the meantime we have to keep guessing. but at some point someone is going to have to say something other than no comment about this case. it is devastatingly inconclusive to do otherwise. now it's time for "last word with lawrence o'donnell." the republicans decided it's never too early to talk about the next government shutdown. what is the bigger political problem in washington? >> the larger issue they're dealing with is health care. >> the website doesn't work. >> 24 is a very serious problem. >> the situation right now is unacceptable. >> if you put fan in the gas
tank can you blame the dealer? >> ask the g.o.p. >> is the tea party strategy dividing your party? >> we fought the fight. we didn't win. >> five justices of the supreme court agree it's constitutional. >> we have an opportunity to defund obama care. >> we fought the fight. we didn't win. >> major donors are backing away. >> their approval ratings are tanking. >> as long as we stay focused we're going to be fine. >> paul rand will lay out his plan in january. >> i think i would have known about that. >> paul ryan comes up with this plan that doesn't exist. >> i'll let you talk to paul about that. >> what is the bigger political problem in washington? >> the larger issue is health care. >> having spent three years trying to destroy the affordable care act -- >> republicans have now moved to distressed pathos. >> as long as we stay focused i think we're going to be fine.
today john boehner held his first press conference since the government shutdown and quickly reminded us they will be able to do that whole thing again in january. >> we fought the fight but we didn't win. we lived to fight another day. and the fact is that we're going to have issues about funding the government come january 15th. we're going to have the debt ceiling we have to deal with again. the looming problems that are affecting our country are still there. we are spending more than what we bring in to the tune of $700 billion this year alone even though we have record income. >> in an apparent talking points error, boehner did not list the affordable care act as one of the looming problems. but weekly standard editor bill crystal repeatedly said this morning that the new year will bring another new idea from paul
ryan. >> paul ryan's going to lay out his -- the conservative health care reform plan in january. he will lay out the republican reform plan in january. >> luke russert asked john boehner about the big republican reform plan today. >> your friend bill crystal said this morning that paul ryan would unveil the house g.o.p. plan for health care reform sometime? january. can you tell us what it will look like? >> i'll let you talk to ryan about that. >> ryan's spokesperson offered this statement on the big republican reform plan. chairman ryan continues his efforts to repeal and replace obama care. today, president obama met with more than a dozen health insurance executives at the white house to discuss open enrollment and the
implementation of the affordable care act. and joe mansion announce head is drafting a bill to make 2014 a transition year. but in an interview with joe mansion on fox news tonight, bill o'reilly did not get the democratic party civil war democrats turning on the president thing that o'reilly was hoping for. >> were you surprised, personally surprised that the administration couldn't get the software up and running and this all this chaos? did that take you aback? >> i was not surprised. i'm going to tell you why. i became governor of west virginia in 2004. we were working at that time before me working through a transition of putting in a new computer system to run medicaid claims in west virginia. it had been a debacle. people weren't getting paid and they wanted to sue everybody. i sat everybody down and said we have to fix this thing.
we got it up and running and it's now a model. but it took us a while. >> why didn't the president put you in charge of this instead of civilians who can't, you know -- don't know what they're doing. >> she didn't know she's doing, senator. she has no clue. >> she was a -- >> i was a successful semipro baseball player. i can't get websites up and running. >> that depends how you define success and semipro. there is no evidence in the historical record that bill o'reilly was ever a semipro baseball player. joining me howard dean and richard wolf. governor dean, a former governor
mention had a good example for bill o'reilly about the difficulties you can run into including his experience with medicaid in west virginia. >> i was hoping you were not going to ask me to provide the evidence that bill o'reilly once played semipro ball. >> these rollouts tend to be difficult. i have been through difficult ones. when i was governor we computerized the tax department. this was 20 years ago. we had to do it twice. it took twice as long as when had to do it over again. the tech rollouts are very tough. were there mistakes? sure. one of the things they ought to have done is divide the 36 states that wouldn't cooperate with the exchange into five regions and have bidding for the five regions. but it is what it is.
we are where we are. it's going to get fixed and this is going to be a program that people are really, really glad they have an opportunity to have. >> and richard wolf, to clarify what the administration did do today it's a minor change. it was an application deadline of february 15th and an enrollment deadline of march 31st. they have combined those two. so you can be applying as late as march 31st now. >> it sounds like a technical thing but i think this is the political solution. on any of these projects you have a hard date. they know full well if they let this slide into another year it's another year and another lost opportunity and you could end up in this death spiral where young people don't sign up. instead of moving the date they need to scale back what this website is supposed to do. you either change scope or schedule. what we are trying to say you can do everything start to
finish one website and one experience. maybe all you should do is enroll and like you apply for a credit card you get your response later but the enrollment has to take place by a certain date. you submit your information and the verification and the things that are hard to check that happens at a later point. that is the way out for them. they need to change the scope but if they change the schedule they are in deep trouble. >> how does that sound to you? make it like a credit card application or application where you then get a response in a couple of weeks as opposed to the instantaneous process. >> that's how medicare works. there are a couple other options. the most bold and far reaching is to take one of the exchanges like california which is a successful exchange and allow the whole country to get on to it.
but in theory, as long as the website's up and running, anybody ought to be able to access it. i wouldn't want to suggest that immediately. and governor brown is having a fit watching this. but there is no reason you couldn't go on the vermont exchange and get product. there are some reasons, one of them is what the packages aren't on there. but that could be fixed fairly easily in the face of this kind of a glitch. so that would be one possibly. the other possibility which i hope they're going to do is you can sign up for this by going online -- by getting on the telephone and calling a toll free line. you should be able to sign up by going down to the social security office and filling out a form. that can be turned around pretty quickly. there are ways you can do this even if we can't fix the website on time. and you know, i think richard's solution is one. but i think there are others as well. this is going to happen. it's going to work. it's just going to take some time and that's not a surprise for anyone who has been involved in tech rollouts.
>> let's listen to more of what john boehner had to say today. >> i think biggest part of congress's job is to provide proper oversight of the executive branch of government. whether it's obama care or issues at the department of defense, it's our job to hold them accountable. when it comes to obama care, clearly there is an awful lot to be held accountable. >> he mentions the department of defense. presumably he will give the same scrutiny to this that they have given to the missile defense system for decades now and it has never worked. >> presumably. but presumably they are a different party. there is no single person or entity to blame here. it's a systemic problem. but oversight also involves trying to solve the problem for the american people and that's not what they're interested in here. it's political point scoring. i wouldn't expect anything less.
if it was democrats in opposition but democrats might say hey, there's a policy here of helping people with health care and we want to pursue that too. >> the point that richard just made is incredibly important. i'm astonished after one of the most crushing defeats in the history of the republican party in terms of their choice of tactics they are embracing the same tactics they had before. the speaker mentioned more problems with the debt limit and government shutdown in january. and all they're doing is taking the darrell issa play book and throw mud at the democrats. i think that the americans think that the republican party has no solutions to everything. what they should be doing instead of having hearings is coming up with ideas of their own but it's they can't because
they are a divided party. but if they don't do that they might lose the house in 2014. that is a real possibility. >> they seem to have some residual instinct for this idea of what about us having a plan. and they threw around this notion of paul ryan has got a plan. and they go to paul ryan for the plan and it to repeal obama care. >> right. so you know there is a conservative health care reform plan called obama care. the idea of personal responsibility of a market based reform system. no public option which upset governor dean so strongly. this issed a least a moderate conservative position. maybe there is no role for government in anything. but there is a conservative plan that came out of the heritage think tank which now wants to shut down government because they hate their own plan. i think that paul ryan is trying to reform himself and recast
himself as a philosopher king. it wouldn't surprise me if he had ideas. but if it is tort reform and shopping for insurance across state lines we've heard it before. >> what is left in the policy menu that republicans could conceivably advance as some kind of health care reform plan in? >> i think richard's point is well taken. the problem is that obama stole the republican plan. mitt romney's plan five years ago in massachusetts, which has 98.5% of massachusetts people are health insurance is the plan that the president is now using for the whole country. it's pretty hard when the president co-opts your idea to come up with another idea that is more conservative. that's their battle. and the other problem is they can't make the numbers add up without some kind of tax base and this is a party that staked everything on saying no, no, no,
no, no, to everything but particularly to taxes. >> governor howard dean and richard wolfe thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. the editors at the "wall street journal" are outraged that a republican is using ridge to support a policy decision. and many of the republican women who cheered ted cruz in texas are going to find it harder to vote thanks to the new texas voting laws. a texas judge, who has already had problems voting because of the new law will join me for an exclusive interview. bill o'reilly is no longer content to call the affordable care about socialism. he's calling it communism. which reveals his comprehension of socialism or communism is in tonight's we are write. [ taps baton ]
up next, the "wall street journal" versus st. peter and sister simone. the american dream is of a better future, a confident retirement. those dreams, there's just no way we're going to let them die. ♪ like they helped millions of others. by listening. planning. working one on one. that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you. that's how ameriprise puts more within reach.
he is up for re-election in 2014 and offered this. inspiration about expanding medicaid. >> when you die and get to the meeting with st. peter he's probably not going to ask you about what you did to keep government small but he's going to ask you what you did for the poor. you better have a good answer. >> after ohio's republican legislature passed a budget bill that included language specifically forbidding the expansion of medicaid in ohio, the governor used his line item veto powers to eliminate that provision, just strike it. so that block of the expansion of medicaid was gone from the law. but the governor then brought the issue to a little-known committee in ohio called the controlling board and got them
to vote 5-2 to accept $2.5 billion in medicaid funds to provide coverage for 275,000 ohio citizens. today a "wall street journal" editorial board attacked the governor in the article entitled medicaid and the apostle kasich. the editorial said now mr. kasich seems to view signing up for this part of obama care as an act of christian charity. the editorial reminded the governor that when it comes to his future, quote, republicans get a vote before st. peter does. joining me now is sister simone campbell.
she is the leader of nuns on the bus. and ari melberg. >> i didn't think i would see this point at which the "wall street journal" editors are bothered by faith-based governing. >> it is surprised me. but what shocked me was that never once did they refer to the fact that 275,000 people in ohio do not have health care and will get health care through medicaid expansion. it was shocking to me that they were trying to act so sanctimonious and define what faith is and they seemed to think that faith is only the republican approach. >> and ari, it was politically fascinating to watch how close they came to mocking religious faith and christianity within a "wall street journal" editorial. >> this is the other big split in the party. we talked about the tea party
radicals and the wall street consensus. you have the religious conservatives who do want to do things either for the poor, as we heard, or just logical policies if you have a governor you have to answer for. this is the eighth republican governor that have opted in. and if you don't opt in you are leaving the poorest citizens without this coverage which leads to a perverse outcome. we have these subsidies for those at a middle income, to leave others out is wrong. this is a governor who wanted to run as a presidential candidate in '99 and might run again shows you there is a future in the republican party. >> and there is this, from the "wall street journal" governor
kasich's intentions are laudable but that government as thy brother's keeper riff needs moral fine tuning. st. peter might recoil at a medicare program that reimburses doctors so poorly that fewer may take medicaid patients. >> sister simone your theological education is more complete than mine but i can't think of what i have read that would indicate that st. peter would recoil at medicaid reimbursement rates. >> absolutely not. the fact is that the doctors are provided for. the hospitals are provided for. what this law is doing is bringing down the overall costs and that is something our economy needs. st. peter would be pleased but not have a theological opinion about it. i think what is really key here though, also the pragmatic fact that hospitals who serve the uninsured are scheduled through the law to have their dish payments reduced. so if we do not have the poor
insured, then there's going to be no money for hospitals to take care of them. that is a disaster for our entire system. it's really important both from a faith, justice perspective that people get care but pragmatic for hospitals to be able to afford it. >> ari, of course the law was written that the medicaid expansion was mandatory in all the states. the supreme court did carve out the fact that it was mandatory, made it optional. i assumed that any governor would not accept the expansion of medicaid. it makes me wonder is this the moment where john kasich is saying if that's the choice i'm choosing medicaid for my state over running for president. >> you heard him speak from his heart about the religious values. >> leave that to sister simone and me. >> or if you can get your
booking team on it, get him in here some way. but wherever you go on that hypothetical, it may be from the heart, which is great. it also may be the direction of the party. it's also important that people understand, you know, we reacted to that obama care ruling but saying they upheld the individual mandate. but never before had we seen an activist republican court try to open up a huge exception, right, basically inviting the state, opt out of this federal policy before the government could condition funds and they would have lost all their medicaid funds. and this was a political move by roberts. get the headline about upholding it and leaving this backdoor which has we have been discussing has left a lot of poor people out in the lurch.
>> and sister, it's a horrible hole in the law. the people who would only qualify for the medicaid expansion are of a lower income than those who would qualify for the insure -- purchase of insurance subsidized. >> that's absolutely true. and the horror of this is that it's the adults without minor children who are the ones most vulnerable. the 40, 50-years-old working at low wages and do not have it through employment, but i must tell you that the catholic sisters in ohio have done an amazing job of their own nuns on the bus to make this day happen where governor kasich knew from a faith perspective they worked in the interfaith setting as well as directly with him lobbying for this decision. so i think he had a lot of political pressure and he also had a lot of faith pressure on him to do justice. this isn't charity. this is justice. everyone in the richest nation on earth has a right to have
health care. >> ari, one other prominent republican, chris christie has the medicaid expansion in new jersey. >> i think it's going to be a huge factor. they can fight over it. the other thing with the "wall street journal" calling it obama-caide. this is a big story that goes to expanding coverage. >> sister, thank you very much for helping us with these big theological questions tonight. >> happy to do it. thank you. coming up, texas's new voting laws are going to make it harder for women to vote especially married or divorced women. a texas judge who had her credentials at her pooling place in her courthouse is going to join me later along with cecile richards. in the spotlight tonight,
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texas voter i.d. law that will make it a lot harder for women to vote. the new law requires showing photo identification and also requires a person's i.d. be substantially similar to the most up to date legal information. now, as reasonable as that may sound it can present a very serious challenge for women who change their names when they get married or divorced. 34% of women voters at any one time do not have identification that precisely matches their current legal name according to the brennan center for justice. on monday, a texas judge named sandra watts tried to vote, as show always has, in her own courthouse, and even though the election officials present knew exactly who she is, she ran into
trouble trying to cast her vote. joining me now by skype for an interview, the honorable sandra watts. also joining me, cecile richards. judge watts just walk us through in detail what happened to you when you went to cast your vote on monday. >> monday was the first day to vote in a constitutional election in texas. i presented myself with my voter registration and was aware of the new voter law so i also presented my texas driver's license which is valid and unsuspended. i was then advised that the name had to be -- the names had to be identical. and i said that was ridiculous, that i had been voting for 49 years and the law required me to present a voter i.d. i subsequently went back and asked to see the law. i read the law once again. and what it states is when a voter presents themselves to
vote, they will provide a voter i.d. the election official will then verify the voter i.d. with the registration and they will make a determination as to whether or not it is substantially similar. the regulations to implement the law literally states that it must be identical. my driver's license, which i've had for 52 years, has my maiden name as my middle name and my every other valid legal document i have has my birth middle name, which is lee. so it was not identical, and the election official told me it had to be identical. the election official is charged with making a determination as to whether or not it is substantially similar. and if it substantially similar, then they will allow you to vote but you must sign an aka affidavit which is you are one and the same person. if the election official decides
it is not substantially similar between the voter registration and the voter i.d. that is presented to verify the same you will not be turned away but you will with asked to vote a provisional ballot which gives you six days to present that voter i.d. and verification which must be identical and go before the election board after the closing of the election to determine whether the ballot will be counted. there is interesting language in the law. i've never seen it before. i have a constitutional right to vote. and that constitutional right now says i offer myself to vote and an election official is going to determine whether i'm accepted to vote. this is going to disproportionally adversely affect women. a majority of women change their surnames. i grant divorces every day and in doing so and in the majority of the case i restore maiden names.
there are hyphenated names in the state of texas and we have a cultural -- a large part of our state is mexican-americans and a lot of the mexican-americans assume the paternal and the maternal surnames as their official names. so i was surprised that what i had done for 49 years was not sufficient to vote at this time. >> cecile richards this is going to create incredible traffic jams at the polls in texas which is clearly the intent. >> it's amazing. and this story -- look, this is a judge. and she's in her own courthouse trying to vote. can you imagine the average woman in texas trying to explain they have a valid i.d.? i look at these situations as you said, more than a third of woman in texas don't have the right kind of identification. they are saying you need an
original birth certificate and original marriage license. i have been married nearly 30 years and i couldn't find my marriage license if my life depended on it. this will have a disproportionate affect on women. >> judge watts with your experience and given your experience with the law, you saw -- you went through what you had to go through, i'm sure you were imagining what it would be like for someone who is uninitiated in the law and not aware of the new law showing up at a polling place. >> i think it is going to create tremendous delays. and i will tell you the count election clerk in our county admitted that it is going to create delays that women are going to be asked to in effect fill out additional paperwork more than the men in the state of texas. you're not going to be turned away. but you could be told you have to vote a provisional ballot. and the law says even if all of
the procedures are followed for a provisional ballot there is no guarantee it is going to be counted which amounts to disenfranchisement. >> we have seen texas and other states enacts laws that affect planned parenthood negatively. and this seems to be an insurance policy against any kind of backlash at the polls for that sort of thing. >> this incredible. all the other abuses against women in texas, taking away women's health care this is just the latest. what we are seeing in texas is an enormous backlash that women are not going to be denied the right to vote and they are going to be energized and the candidacy of wendy davis are going to further energize folks in that state. i think of 25 years ago when mom ran as governor for the state of texas and the thought that 25
years later the state of texas is trying to keep women from voting is outrageous and un-american. >> judge watts do you see an avenue to a constitutional challenge to this law? >> i was not denied the right to vote. what i had to do was in effect file an aka, also known as, which i've never had to do in my entire life in order to vote. the bottom line is that -- my concern is the provisional ballots because of the fact you have to appear six days after to present this and if the majority of the women have this discrepancy between their voter i.d. and also their registration, i asked my daughter and my court manager whether they were going to have a problem. they do not have an identical name on their driver's license and their voter i.d. my daughter and court manager
will have to sign an aka they attest they are one and the same person. >> and wait to see how that is adjudicated in the end. >> they will accept the aka and you will be allowed to vote. the problem is when the election official makes a determination that it is not substantially similar. >> yes, yes. >> my maiden name is richardson, and my married lee is sandra lee. then i will be given the opportunity to go the provisional ballot which in effect says i must show up six days later with this appropriate i.d. and even if i follow all the procedures on the ballot under section "d," that section, the bottom line is it may not count. >> judge sandra watts, thank you for taking us through this detail. we couldn't have got it any other way. appreciate it. cecile richards thank you for
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here comes socialism. that is the subject of the talking points memo. >> i thought it was the subject of every night's talking points memo. o'reilly's talking points memo went on for more than three research-free and fact-free minutes talking about what he likes to call obama care and this time calling it socialism wasn't good enough. he went from calling it socialism to socialist-communist and then finally just plain
communism. and in bill o'reilly's mind where words have no meaning, universal health care coverage is communism because it's just so darn expensive. >> that's a form of communism because no country could afford those payments without seizing the assets of everybody else. >> to provide health insurance, a country would have to seize the assets of everyone else. so says bill o'reilly. it would be impossible to do that, according to o'reilly. here is the map of impossible according to o'reilly. a map that o'reilly viewers will never see. in green are all the countries in the world that do the impossible and provide universal health care coverage totally free to those who cannot afford it and they provide health care for everyone else, and they do it without seizing the assets of
anyone. they do it through perfectly reasonable systems of taxation similar to ours. you will notice that the united states of america is not included among the countries that do provide universal health care coverage because we never have and we still don't and we won't, even with the full successful implementation of the affordable care act because the affordable care act was written to be a cheap solution to the problem. the affordable care act was never designed to provide health care coverage to everyone in this country, although both democrats and republicans continue to say that it does do that. the taxes that were enacted to
pay for the affordable care act are obscure, small-dollar items that most americans will never pay and be aware of. the only affordable care act tax that o'reilly himself might ever pay is the tanning salon tax. next time bill goes to a tanning salon he has to pay 10% for the affordable care act. and something tells me bill's going to be able to afford that. >> the truth is that the usa at this point in time can't afford to pay for obama care unless working americans give up more of their assets. in some cases, much more. and that's a memo. >> there is a virtual guarantee that when bill o'reilly begins the sentence with the phrase "the truth is" what you are about to hear is not the truth. the truth is that the affordable care act is already paid for
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every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. silence. are you in good hands? in his column, stanley crouch writes, the cruise missiles in the house have followed the course of the nonthinker of the thoughts of individual rights. they fancy themselves a new breed of superheroes. joining me is stanley crouch, the author of this new book. stanley, whenever people in politics think they are superheroes you know they are going to fall off that cliff
pretty soon. and i feel those guys, they are too dazzled by advertising. they are not interested in a product. they're interested in advertising. they keep saying the same thing over and over you will believe what they are saying about it. if you go to any advertising company what they guarantee you is thatly they will keep saying that people should buy your product well. but these guys don't say it well. and they tell lies. >> the encouraging thing in 24 story is the public figured it out. they didn't fool who they wanted to fool. >> but they always do. they always get it. but if the public goes for the advertising rhythm of the illusory vision of velocity it's like all these stuff being talked about by the republicans about the glitches, anybody who lives in the modern world is used to machines screwing up. >> yeah.
yeah. >> that's not something new. >> right. >> that's not something that's surprising to anyone in the world. >> right. >> you know, just like i was saying to one of the women in the -- one of the women we were talking about that would be like someone saying about an automobile that gets a flat them saying, flats are not acceptable. >> right, right. yeah. >> everybody expects a car to fold. >> yeah. >> expects a toaster to not work, expects that whatever machinery they use a lot they're ready for it to make a mistake. >> let's get to your new book, charlie parker. this has been a long time in the making. you are one of our great jazz historians in this country, one of the many scholarly hats you wear. what is the essence of this story that you need people to
know about? >> well, it actually is about a place in time in america in which americana actually touched everybody. see, it's about the fact that everybody had a general reality. but, in kansas city, the city was so corrupt, it had a futuristic identity. you had -- >> one of the things that stunned me about reading it is that everybody was there. every famous name you can think of shows up here. >> well, the thing is, kansas city was a -- was next to new york and new orleans. it was the biggest thing happening in jazz. but, also, so many things happen that you wouldn't believe happened like charlie parker's first wife and one of his friends he grew up with talked about how on halloween they had
what would today be called in a gay pride parade. and people were not throwing bricks but just cheering them on. what i mean a lot of things that we think of today as modern things were being done by people in those years. but also, i think that the greatness of charlie parker and the world that he came out of was a world in which you had a form of art that was created -- was improvised and created on the spot but it was about -- but it was about compromise. it was about empathy and paying attention to each other. you can't play well unless you learn how to hear everybody else while you're playing with them. you listen to all of them. and you know, the word solo is kind of incorrect because what happens is everybody has to
learn -- how to hear. and charlie parker with all of the talent he had, he had to learn how to hear. >> and he only made it to 34 years old. >> yeah. >> we're going to hear more about this book. stanley crouch, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> up next, "hardball with chris matthews." party poopers. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in boston. let me start with this. yes, party poopers. yes everyone's heard of them. they show up in a room and suddenly things turn bad. they don't come to enjoy the evening. they come to ruin it. that's who they are. negative forces in the party, in the politics. these led now by ted cruz have